Woodby v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

RESPONDENT: Immigration and Naturalization Service
LOCATION: El Paso Natural Gas Co. Headquarters

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1965-1967)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 385 US 276 (1966)
ARGUED: Nov 16, 1966 / Nov 17, 1966
DECIDED: Dec 12, 1966

Facts of the case


Media for Woodby v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 17, 1966 in Woodby v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 16, 1966 in Woodby v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

Earl Warren:

Number 40, Elizabeth Rosalia Woodby, petitioner versus Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Mr. Gordon.

Charles Gordon:

May it please the Court.

I request the permission of the Court for Mr. Francis X. Beytagh, Jr. of the Ohio Bar who is an assistant to the Solicitor General to argue this case in behalf of the respondent.

Earl Warren:

The motion is granted.

Mr. Myers.

Jacob A. Myers:

Mr Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

The petitioner in this case is a 34-year-old female who married an American soldier while he was stationed in Germany in 1956.

They had one child while they were living together in Germany.

The petitioner's husband in return from Germany to Harlan County, Kentucky which was his parents home and left the petitioner and their infant child in Germany for a period of approximately a year-and-a-half.

After that time, the petitioner and the child came over to the United States and they moved to Harlan, Kentucky with her husband.

They resided there for approximately six months and then move to Dayton, Ohio.

About four months after that, which was sometime in August of 1956, they had a second child that was born approximately four months premature.

About four months after that which would be somewhere around December, the petitioner got into an argument with her husband, he took her and put her on a bus and shipped her off to Pennsylvania.

She turned around as soon as she got there after borrowing money from a friend to get back, arrived in Dayton, Ohio and found that her husband had taken their two children and moved back to the family homestead in Kentucky.

She was without funds.

She couldn't speak English at the time and then she went to work 5&10 Cent store.

After that, she worked in a 5&10 Cent store for approximately three months and then she went to work as a waitress in a restaurant.

Soon after she went to work, she received a telephone call from her husband who is in Kentucky, stating that their son who at that time was about four months old -- no, it would have been about seven months old was in dire need of a brain operation.

She was told by her husband that the child could not have the operation unless he had $300.00 that he had no Blue Cross and the hospital refused to operate on the child unless she had the money.

She told her husband that she had no way of getting the money and he told her, “If you're a mother enough, you'll know how to get it.”

At this time, the petitioner testified that she was told and she did believe that if she did not get the money, the child would die as a result of this because she could -- because the child would not have an operation.

The next day, a vacuum cleaner salesman came to the door to sell her a vacuum cleaner, she said, I'm sorry I can't afford a vacuum and told her, she told him the sad story.

He said, well, I know how I can get you the money.

He left and came back some time later with another man and a bottle of liquor, they took some pictures of her and apparently, men started coming to her apartment the next day.

The petitioner testified that she continued to engage from that point for approximately two months in acts of prostitution until she had repaid the $300.00 that she got from this vacuum cleaner salesman by the name of Tom Wally.

After that, she tried terminating the arrangement with him when she repaid him.

He threatened to turn it over to the police and the immigration authorities even in view of that, she left Dayton approximately two weeks later and went to Knoxville, Tennessee.

This two-month period of time as far as we can determine is approximately from April 1 until June 1 of 1957.

She then went approximately June 1, 1957 to Knoxville, Tennessee and remained there until the 4th of July of 1957.